Eurostars is a programme that is supported by both European and national financial sources. This joint programming is a so-called "Article 185" initiative, referring to Article 185 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). It states that:
"In implementing the multiannual framework programme, the Union may make provision, in agreement with the Member States concerned, for participation in research and development programmes undertaken by several Member States, including participation in the structures created for the execution of those programmes."
Eurostars is a programme for SMEs (and their partners) performing market-oriented research (linked to the Cooperation specific Programme). On average, a Eurostars project comprises three to four participants from two or three countries, for a duration of 29 months and a budget EUR 1.4 million.
The selection process is competitive. As is stated in the Application guidelines: "Eurostars is a competition. We expect you to do your homework." And: "Innovators have ideas. Innovative entrepreneurs can explain and sell their ideas to others."
In exchange, the programme is known to help businesses attract talent and expertise, and private investment. Being a "Eurostars SME" can help the company to grow, innovate more, and gain access to new global markets and international success.
The Eurostars programme is publicly financed with a total budget of 1.14 billion euro and is currently supported by 33 EUREKA countries and the European Union. Funding for Eurostars participants is provided on a country-by-country basis.
The next cut-off date for submitting an application is 17 September 2015. As a "bottom-up" programme with no pre-defined topics, applications will be evaluated at two cut-off dates per year.